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Executive Assistant: Assassins #12 [Aspen Comics] Review

Posted on July 2, 2013 AT 07:59pm

The first year of Aspen Comics’ first ongoing series is here, and with it comes a brand new Assassin. With the end of their big crossover event and a one-shot for a new assassin following that, the team on this series is now looking to bring forth even more new characters and give them a chance to really make an impact on the reader. With the new Assassin, Daisy, as the subject, the series heads to New Orleans to see the humble beginnings of this very deadly woman.

This is a sad and altogether strange introduction to a brand new assassin. The series jumps into flashback almost right away, showing in great contrast to the rest of the issue, what this young woman has become after her struggles. What follows is a violent and disheartening portrayal of a woman’s suffering leading to her own descent into the world of espionage and murder.

Writer Vince Hernandez has done a great job on this series thus far, but it feels as though this was a misstep. Using violence against women as the backdrop for her ascent into the world of being an assassin seems not only a bit offensive, but also really overdone. The concept of violence against women, vengeance or trauma as motivation and the turn of a good person into one of morally grey outlook is something that has been done many times to varying success. While the newest addition to the Assassins family progresses well, this first issue seems to bring a feeling of unease, specifically given some of the paths of the other Assassins and their long roads to becoming well-trained agents. Hopefully this will become more varied as the arc continues, but this time, the line that this series tip-toes from showing empowered women to women made powerful through victimization has been crossed on the incorrect side.

The art of Lori Hanson, Charlie Mok and Teodoro Gonzalez are solid as always, lending themselves to a beautiful portrayal of New Orleans and the struggle of young Daisy. The backgrounds, usually a sign of pause in most Aspen titles, is one of the strongest points in this issue, with nearly every page given something beautiful outside the panels and outside the main focus of the page. This is a well-drawn title, and this issue is one of the stronger ones in this respect.

Summary: This has been a great series thus far, though it’s toed the line between empowering and offensive for a long time. This time the line was crossed, and the introduction of this new character did not go over well in the slightest. There’s hope that this will even out in time, but as of this first issue of the Daisy arc, this is not going in the right direction.

Pros: Solid artwork, great backgrounds

Cons: Terrible introduction of new character and near-offensive story.

Grade: D+


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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